Monday, October 22, 2012

Dinner on the Farm - Heart Healthy Pizza

Pizza is the one thing that you can either have in great moderation or do without when designing heart healthy diets or in diets overall. However, if made correctly either with a lean protein or all veggie and using a whole grain crust you can have pizza as a part of a heart healthy diet.

I love pizza just like you but cannot justify the calories per slice much less the other unfriendly ingredients. And, of course you can never have just one slice.

Let's face it! Pizza can be addicting and with greasy meats and white flour crusts it can be anything but heart healthy or diet friendly.

Tonight I had a craving for marinara, cheese and something that would at least resemble a homemade pizza. I remembered I had some whole grain flat-bread in the freezer. I also had some lean sausage in the freezer that  I could make even leaner if I took care how I prepared it. Mozzarella cheese is made from low fat milk and marinara can easily be made from  fresh tomatoes and some traditional Italian seasoning in the blender or ninja.

Here is what we came up with and I must say, it was delicious.

Heart Healthy Pizza

12 Sara Lee Wholegrain Flat-bread rounds (or house brand)
1 large can or a pint of canned tomatoes
2 tlb. Italian seasoning
12 oz Mozzarella cheese grated
1 lb lean protein. We used pan sausage.

Lay each half of the flat-bread on a cookie sheet and lightly toast under the broiler. Remove from heat.

In a blender/food processor/Ninja blender puree the tomatoes without the liquid and Italian seasoning to a smooth marinara. You can also puree green pepper, onion or other veggies into this mixture for extra flavor and nutrition.

Brown the pan sausage in a shallow saute pan. Drain in a colander and rinse. The sausage will retain it's flavor but you'll remove most of the grease.

Spoon 1 tlb of the marinara on top of the toasted rounds. Add some grated cheese to cover the marinada and top with about 1 tlb of the sausage, or another protein like shredded chicken and add chopped veggies if you want.

Once all the rounds are covered, broil on low with the shelf in the middle of the oven. Remove and serve.

These are amazing!

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